Tottenham 2017-18 player preview: Vincent Janssen seeks redemption

HARRISON, NJ - JULY 25: Georges-Kevin Nkoudou
HARRISON, NJ - JULY 25: Georges-Kevin Nkoudou /

With the obvious lack of reinforcements coming Tottenham’s way, Vincent Janssen has a perfect opportunity to redeem himself after a lacklustre maiden season in the Premier League. 

If you watched Janssen play last season, you’ll know that Janssen doesn’t lack desire, commitment or passion. He has those attributes in excess, leaving it all on the pitch every time the manager gives him a chance.

Desire and commitment in silo, however, won’t cut the mustard for a player whose transfer cost £18.5 million. The Dutchman scored two goals in 27 top flight appearances last season, equating to a paltry 0.07 goals per match ratio. Those numbers fall astronomically short of the club’s expectations.

Compare that to the 27 goals he scored in 2015-16 with AZ Alkmaar and you can see why so many Tottenham supporters are left with scars  on their heads from compulsive scratching. I’m not comparing the overall quality in the Eredivisie to the Premier League because that would be absurd. But you’d expect Janssen to muster more than two goals, even with the overtly obvious King Kong-sized gulf in quality between the two leagues.

Let’s not give up on Janssen quite yet, though. Acknowledging the Premier League isn’t the easiest league to adapt to and remembering that he is still only 23 years old fills me, like chugging a tin of Red Bull while concurrently watching Spurs beat Arsenal, with temporary excitement and hope.

The excitement and hope I currently feel will evaporate as quickly as water does in the desert if the young Dutchman struggles from the onset of the coming season. But for now I’m staying upbeat about a forward who shows sporadic signs of brilliance. He was also a bit unlucky in front of goal during his first Premier League season.

Janssen scored on a tidy one-touch finish in Spurs’ pre-season game against Roma during the club’s US tour. More moments like this are essential in the early going of this season for Janssen to gain the kind of confidence he’ll need to extricate himself from the Premier League rut with which he’s ensnared.

If, when the opportunity presents itself, he gets off to flyer in the 2017-18 season, look for Janssen to turn his Spurs’ fortunes around. Tottenham, in the current tumultuous climate, need some good news and Janssen could provide it.

However, if the motivated Dutchman, for whatever reason, gets off to another slow start, expect him to fall further into the rabbit hole, a potentially dark situation that would be extremely difficult to climb or clamour out of.